On a cooler and quieter afternoon at Woodridge on Tuesday, the team had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with a range of people.
One such conversation was with a man named Ezra. He had a lot of ideas about who God is and what he has done, many of which came from different religious groups he'd spoken to in the past.
Ezra acknowledged that God exists but his main problem was that God was all about His own glory. Ezra couldn't comprehend that God could be loving and yet desire us to serve Him. Even when it was was explained that we were designed to find our greatest joy and fulfillment in this.
This conversation went on for a few minutes but sadly Ezra didn't get to hear the fullness of hope that there is for humanity, offered on the basis of Jesus' wrath absorbing sacrifice. He did take a tract though!
Please be praying for those who heard the Good News and took tracts, that they may turn in surrender to Christ as Lord.
This afternoon at the Woodridge outreach the team handed out many tracts and were able to engage with a range of different people from regarding God's offer of salvation for sinners.
One scary conversation was with a man named Jason. He readily admitted that sin deserves Hell. That we have all sinned. That no one deserves Heaven and that the only way to be saved is to trust that Jesus paid for our sin.
It isn't often that people know the Gospel but this was a specifically sadinstance as Jason then went on when asked to say that he hadn't trusted in Jesus.
When questioned as to why he simply stated, "I want to live my own way". It was stressed, to him, how utterly foolish it is, to know of ones own sin, it's consequences and what God has done to save sinners and then to reject it simply because, "I wanna do it my way".
Jason headed off to catch his train but please be praying that God uses this conversation and reminder of the Gospel to bring him out of darkness into light.
Another chat was had with Lionel, he had Christian parents but was the complete opposite to Jason. He had very little understanding of the Gospel.
Today he heard of God's Holiness and hatred for sin. He heard how deeply sin stains us all and heard of the depths of God's Love, that God has acted in history, taking the full fury and wrath for sin, so that those who turn in surrender to Him will have life.
Please keep Jason and Lionel in prayer that the Holy Spirit would change their hearts, that they may know God.
Please also be praying for the many other people who heard the Gospel or took tracts this afternoon, that God may use each one as He has planned.
This afternoon five team members made it out to Woodridge Station to bring the Gospel to bear on the ears of the people travelling through.
It was a very busy afternoon to begin with, as over 300 tracts were handed out, but the foot traffic slowed down as the usual school traffic left.
One conversation was had with a man named Dustin. He professed that religion wasn't really his thing and he was happy to live his life how he wanted, without needing to think about God. Dustin sort of rejected the idea of God but was quick to acknowledge that God must exist, because the universe does (because every house needs a builder and he himself is a builder).
Dustin ultimately heard the problem of sin, the desperate situation it leaves us in and that hope is only found in Jesus Christ's perfect life, sacrificial death and victorious ressurection. Sadly Dustin still didn't really want to surrender to God because he was pretty happy living according to his own standard.
Please be praying that Dustin will not be able to stop thinking about the conversation and will come to trust in Jesus as His Lord and Saviour.
Another brief chat was had with Hayden. In the past he had been a drug user but proudly professed that he had been clean for 2 months. It was good to rejoice with him in this but as the conversation turned to the Gospel, it was clear that he had very little understanding of who God is. Thankfully, he was open to hearing what God had revealed about Himself.
Some simple explanations were given about God's perfect standard and the punishment for sin. At this Hayden seemed to understand the dire position all of humanity was in.
As his train arrived, a simple and clear Gospel presentation was given and Hayden left with a tract in hand.
Please be praying that this message may take root in his heart and that he too may be forgiven of sin and reunited with God, through the work of Christ!
The outreach at Woodridge today was fruitful with plenty of good conversations with people about eternal matters. We got to speak with some that thought they would go to heaven based on their own goodness, others who thought death was the end of them, but at the end of each conversation, the person was appreciative for the chat and was going to now think about what was said.
One chat the team had was with a young man named Zaleek who listened as the gospel was explained to him. But he said that he is not prepared yet to trust in Christ and make Him his number 1 in life.
I said this, "Imagine if you found out today that you had a very serious disease and only have one month left to live on this earth. You hear that there is a cure of it but it costs a million dollars to buy it and you don't have that kind of money. But then, one of your friends decides to sell everything he has - his car, his house,his clothes, everything - and buys the cure for you and gives it to you as a free gift. That would be amazing right?" Zaleek agreed.
"But let's say you grab the cure in your hand and you tell your friend, ' Well I'm not ready to take it yet. I'm just going to put it on my shelf at home, it might even make a nice decoration.' Well it wouldn't be long before you'd be breathing your last and your friend would realise what he did was a waste because you didn't use it."
"So in the same way, we have a serious disease called sin that we have done and it is sending us to Hell. We can't fix it. But Jesus has not just given up everything he owns, He has given up His own life to die for our sins, and He offers forgiveness to you today, and you're like 'I know Jesus you went through all that to provide forgiveness for me, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to take it yet. Maybe later on in life.' Yet not realising that tonight could be your very last night. You'd basically be spitting in the face of Jesus despite what he has already done for you."
Zaleek began to see the urgency of what we were talking about and the foolishness of rejecting what Jesus has done on the cross for all those who believe. Please pray that he comes to believe it for himself and counts the cost of following Christ.
To God be all the glory!
For our outreach in Woodridge this afternoon, the area was quieter than normal, but it meant that as a result the team was able to split up and head around the area a bit more in search of people to speak with. God brought along 8 people on the team.
One conversation that we had was with two young men, Xavier and Vinnie. When asked if they were going to Heaven, they said, "Absolutely not, we've done far to much wickedness."
In response, I posed the question to them, "Do you want to hear the story about a bad man who went to Heaven?" They said they were happy to. Through the simple explanation of the two men who hung either side of Jesus while He was on the cross and their separate responses to Him, these young men heard the gospel.
They were also given a clear explanation that despite how desperately wicked we are, we can never be so evil that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross is unable to save us, if we come to repent and believe. Xavier and Vinnie left with gospel tracts and a strong encouragement to trust in Christ tonight because He will not only save us from the judgement to come but will equally empower us, through regeneration and the Holy Spirit to serve Him in the future!
Please be praying for all those who heard the gospel today! Praise God that many labourers were able to come out!.
He looked like a very rough guy, and when he was sat next to and asked whether he thought he might go to Heaven, he initially was quite angry and asked, "Why did you ask me that?" It was explained that we are talking to people about eternal things and that he happened to be the only one sitting here at this point in time, and that seemed to cool his anger.
He said that he is an agnostic and doesn't like religion. He also explained how his father killed himself when he was 7. He said that he has been addicted to a variety of different drugs throughout his life, and is now an alcoholic, nicotine addict and food addict.
It was discussed with him about how we know there is a God through the creation, how we have sinned against God and deserve His judgement, and how Jesus came to die on the cross for our sins.
He said he knew that all the addictions that he has are to simply numb the guilt he feels for the bad things he has done in his life, but he said he doesn't know a way of removing that guilt. But as the gospel was further explained to him, he was beginning to see how Jesus was able to pay the penalty for our sin.
His bus came, but before we parted ways, he thanked me profusely for the conversation and was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading. Please pray for Ian that He would come to faith in our very great Saviour.
At the same time as this, the rest of the team were either handing out gospel tracts or in gospel conversations of their own. It was a great thing to see the gospel go out to so many.
To God be the glory!
On Tuesday for our outreach at Woodridge, we had a large team out and as a result we were able to spread out further by some on the team walking around the area in search of people who needed to hear of Jesus. Thankfully there were many around!
A stand out conversation was with a government worker named James. He said he thought about Heaven and Hell a lot but really didn't know where he would go. He thought he was a pretty good guy, but wasn't sure.
After a short discussion, James had raised the selfishness of humanity that he had seen through his job and also was a little frustrated that he worked hard to get places and yet there are people who get to live great lives without ever working hard. On both points, we were able to explain the parallels with what he felt and humanity's rejection of God. God has given us many good gifts, life being the best and yet we use the very gift God has given us to mock Him.
Secondly we shared that we deserve God's justice. We deserve punishment and judgement and yet God in His love, willingly suffered the penalty we deserve so that we can be free. Christians are people who have received a right standing before God and all the blessings of being children of God with no work or merit of their own but entirely of Christ.
Please pray that James is able to understand God's immense love in salvation and to cry out in surrender and trust in Christ! Praise God that He brings people across our paths who so desperately need him!
Eden came to Woodridge yesterday to play Pokemon Go, but he went home considering the claims of Christ. He was one of the people we spoke with during our outreach yesterday in Woodridge. He said that he never thinks about eternal matters, and doesn't have a Bible.
But as the conversation went on, he saw his own sinfulness and how he didn't deserve Heaven, but then came to grasp the gospel as he heard of Christ's death and resurrection for his sins.
He said, "I think I should trust in Christ today". He mentioned how he doesn't live in the area and never usually comes to Woodridge, but he decided to stop by Woodridge this particular afternoon to play Pokemon Go, and I said to him, "I don't think it was an accident that you stopped by today, it was all in God's plan and in His timing so that you would happen to be walking by at this time and we'd have this conversation." We gave him a gospel of John to start reading and recommended a local church.
Please pray for him and the dozens of others who we witnessed to throughout the afternoon. To God be all the glory!
The team enjoyed another outreach at Woodridge this afternoon, with plenty of good gospel conversations had and lots of tracts handed out.
There was a theme with some people who said that they wanted to put off getting right with God now and do it later on in life. So we tried to show them the urgency of doing it as soon as possible, since death could be right around the corner for any of us. We used the following analogy:
Just like if a frog is sitting in a pot that is slowing heating up on a stove, since the temperature increase is slow, he won't realize it's getting hot until it's too late and he boils to death.
So in the same way, we can so often think that we've got plenty of time left in life, and so as day by day goes along, we think we still have more time, until suddenly it's too late and death gets us. And if we haven't trust in Christ, it's too late.
We found this made the people we talked to really think and begin to realise the urgency of trusting in Christ alone for their forgiveness while they still can.
This is also what we went on to say today: For it is not something you want to get wrong. If you fail an exam at school, you can always do another one later. If you lose your job in life, you can always find another. But if you die and get sent to hell, you're there forever and there is no escape. That is why there is nothing that matters more than where you go when you die.
There were also a couple people we talked with who said they wanted to trust in Christ today. There were a few gospels of John given out as well to interested people. To God be all the glory!
Today at Woodridge, many seeds of the gospel went out. Even though it was school holidays, we found heaps of people were happy to talk about eternal matters. Our common starting question was, "Do you think you'll go to Heaven when you die?"
When Cliff was asked that question, he said he would because he thought God will forgive everyone. So we explained to him God's character, that is holy and just and cannot just ignore the sins we've done, otherwise he is no longer just. That is why we need someone who is perfect who can take our hell punishment for us on our behalf.
Even though he said he already goes to a local church, he said he now finally understands the way to Heaven, and was going to place his faith in Christ alone for his salvation. He said, "I really needed this. I think God brought you here today and placed the idea in your head to stop me and talk to me."
Another man named Jordan said, after hearing the gospel, that he doesn't want to trust in Jesus is because of "Christians" who have done bad atrocities against him. I asked, "Would it be right for me to say to you 'You are a horrible person' if someone who claimed to be your friend did some bad things to me?" He replied, "No." I said, "So in the same way, we shouldn't judge Jesus based on some of his supposedly followers." He agreed that made sense and as a result was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading. To God be all the glory!
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